Ford’s EcoBoost engine is regarded as one of the most significant pieces of automotive engineering in recent times, with the awards to prove it. The powertrain is fitted across the manufacturer’s range of passenger cars to deliver a blend of power and efficiency that few other engines can compete with.
But now, the EcoBoost unit is making a name for itself in the world of motorsport as Ford tweaks the engine for use in some if its performance-focused models.
Back in 2012 when the EcoBoost engine was impressing motorists with its excellent fuel economy, a single-seater Formula Ford vehicle was busy setting one of the fastest Nürburgring lap times ever recorded.
The road-legal car was fitted with the same 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine found in the Fiesta, Focus, and others but with a series of performance upgrades. The standard EcoBoost’s power rose from 123bhp to 202bhp, resulting in a top speed of 158mph and a 0-60mph time of below four seconds.
Crossing the line in seven minutes 22 seconds, the Formula Ford achieved the 11th quickest lap time as of September 2012. This feat is even more impressive when you consider the complexity of the German circuit, which racing great Jackie Stewart calls “The Green Hell”.
The 13-mile track comprises the ‘North Loop’ section which was built in the 1920s as a test track for German manufacturers and to showcase the nation’s racing talent. A Grand Prix track was added in 1984, which was used as the venue for the Formula One European Grand Prix that year and the German Grand Prix in 1985.
Today, the circuit is used often as a test track, for race events, and is even open to the public for a fee. It has features that allow any driver to push their car of choice to the limit, including high-speed bends and seemingly endless straights. Add to this the sprawling density of the Eifel Forest that the track cuts through, and you have one very intimidating track.
But the Formula Ford triumphed back in 2012 thanks in part to the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine that helped it to carry speed out of bends and quickly charge up through the gears where the track allowed.
The Nürburgring lap was one highlight in a history of notable achievements for Ford and the EcoBoost engine. More recently, the 2.3-litre unit found its way into Ford’s latest-generation Mustang muscle car as an alternative to the car’s 5.0-litre V8.
And for 2016, Ford’s new GT hypercar will be led by a magnificent 600bhp EcoBoost as it competes in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship. July will see the EcoBoost head back to the Nürburgring for the championship’s German leg.
Today, the EcoBoost engine makes its biggest impression on the thousands of motorists who have purchased a model that is powered by the unit. The Fiesta, Focus, EcoSport, C-MAX, Grand C-MAX, B-MAX, and Mondeo are just some of the passenger cars that benefit from EcoBoost output.
Clearly, the EcoBoost is a success story for Ford, a point proven by its impressive list of industry awards. In 2015 the powertrain was named Best Engine Under 1.0-litre for the fourth consecutive year at the International Engine of the Year Awards. This is its eighth award in four years, and it remains the only engine to be named overall winner three years in a row.
Every Ford EcoBoost model on sale today is available from Gates Ford across Essex and Hertfordshire. Schedule a test drive from your nearest showroom to experience the engine’s power and efficiency for yourself.